Education & Service 

We teach powerful teachers

Education Teacher Academy

An incredible teacher can change the course of a student’s life.

Whether it’s a favorite elementary school teacher or an educator later in life who guided your path, many of us can look back and see how our best teachers have helped shape us. The education majors at NAU know that better than anyone—and through NAU’s participation in the Arizona Teachers Academy, they’re working to pay that change forward.

Thea Hookey works with a young student

A uniquely immersive and supportive program that includes multiple high-caliber universities across the state, the Arizona Teachers Academy was set up to address the systemic teacher shortages facing Arizona’s schools. Through extensive student-teaching experience, flexible program structures, and mentoring from NAU faculty, we’re helping the teachers of tomorrow gain the skills, experience, and confidence to succeed today.

  • Students can have their entire tuition covered by the Arizona Teachers Academy without incurring loans, simply by teaching in an Arizona public school for a set time after graduation. This financial support puts a teaching degree within reach for talented students from diverse social and financial backgrounds—and it helps keep money from getting in the way of students’ goals.
  • To help students maintain a connection to the communities where they intend to teach after graduation—while also keeping education costs in check—the NAU Grow Your Own program offers the support they need. The program broadens access and opportunity by partnering with community colleges and K-12 districts across the state to offer programs for students to become certified teachers, with oversight by NAU faculty.
  • Through the Teacher Intern Preparation Program (TIPP), students can earn a master’s degree in elementary education with certification by taking evening classes. Whether you’re switching careers or managing other responsibilities during the day, TIPP opens new doors for nontraditional students.
  • Students in the NAU Teachers Academy log extensive classroom experience, preparing them for success when they manage classrooms of their own. In the elementary education program, for example, students record at least 135 hours in classrooms—more hours than are required by the state—prior to student teaching.
  • Each NAU student cohort is overseen by an experienced NAU College of Education faculty member, who helps students navigate challenges and pursue their interests in a way that works best for them.
A man in a bow tie and an NAU lanyard stands at a chalkboard

The future starts here

With the experience and understanding they gain at the Arizona Teachers Academy, tomorrow’s educators are creating a bright future for schools in Arizona. And if you’d like to join them, you’ve come to the right place.

Learn more about the Arizona Teachers Academy at NAU and the College of Education, or begin your application.


  • The NAU Teachers Academy was formed to address Arizona’s ongoing teacher shortage
    • According to the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association, roughly 1 in 5 classrooms were without a permanent teacher in 2019
    • More than 1,400 Arizona classrooms began the school year without a permanent teacher
    • Many vacancies are being filled by exceeding class-size limits, which places additional strain on teachers
  • The NAU Teachers Academy currently has more than 800 enrolled students—up from 60 in its first year
  • Arizona is set to grant the NAU Teachers Academy $4.2 million in state funding
  • Students must record at least 135 hours of classroom instruction before graduation—but some report as many as 400 hours

A young woman helps a child with reading